Andrea’s research interests comprise of: paediatric rheumatology, podopaediatric, biomechanics, orthotic management, MSK and health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. As part of his PhD study, Andrea has carried out a multicentre randomised controlled trial (RCT) to investigate the clinical effectiveness of foot orthoses on pain, quality of life and gait dynamics of patients diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). This published work is providing new research evidence for podiatrists working within the paediatric rheumatology multidisciplinary team. Andrea has presented his work at several national and international conferences and has been actively involved in providing podiatric care in different hospitals and private clinics for professional athletes and children. Andrea is originally from Italy, he worked as a lecturer and researcher at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh (UK). After nearly 10 years living in Scotland, in July 2013 he moved to Australia to commence a new exciting lecturing post for the podiatry department at the University of Newcastle (NSW). Ciao


Introduction: There is limited evidence supporting the podiatric treatment of children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). This multicentre randomised controlled trial aimed to determine whether pre-formed foot orthoses (FOs) impacted on pain and quality of life (QoL) in children with JIA. Methods: Eligible children were randomised to receive either “fitted” FOs with customised chair-side corrections or “control” FOs made without corrections. Changes in pain and QoL were measured using a visual analogue scale (VAS) and PedsQL questionnaire respectively. JIA children were assessed at baseline, 3 months and 6 months. Results: Sixty children were recruited. One-hundred and seventy-nine out of a possible one-hundred and eighty assessments [99.4%] were completed. A statistically significant greater difference in pain reduction (baseline – 6 months) was seen between the two groups favouring fitted FOs (p = 0.029). The reduction in pain in the fitted FOs group was clinically important (8mm). Significant differences in QoL favouring fitted FOs were also identified as measured by the children and independently by their parents/carers. Conclusion: Fitted FOs may reduce pain and improve quality of life in selected children with JIA.

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